Eye allergies can be one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of an allergic reaction. Also known as allergic conjunctivitis and ocular allergies, they can become so troublesome they can even affect your eye sight. Here are the many ways allergies can affect your eyes:
Symptoms of Eye Allergies
Eye allergies can either be seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies are triggered by allergens that naturally occur in the air such as pollen and tend to be the worst in the spring and fall. Perennial allergies occur any time of year and can result from any number of allergens from pets to dust and mould to cosmetics. Common symptoms of eye allergies include redness, incessant itching, burning and a feeling like your eyes are filled with sand. Blurriness can also occur due to the mucus produced when your eyes become runny.
What causes the Symptoms?
Allergens can be anything that causes your body to react negatively, and eye allergy symptoms are triggered when an allergen is introduced into your atmosphere or comes into contact with you. Once you are in contact with an allergen your eyes react by producing histamines. Histamines are released by mast cells in your eyes and cause the itching, burning and running.
Can Allergies harm the Eyes?
Although you might feel like you want to pull your eyeballs out due to the irritation allergies cause, in the most basic terms allergies cannot cause harm to your eyes. However because of the constant irritation you can have symptoms such as pink eye and in some cases combined reactions between your eyes and skin can lead to issues such as atopic dermatitis. As well, if your eyes become extremely aggravated and the discharge thickens you should see your eye doctor as this can mean there may be a sight threatening issue at work.
What can be done about eye allergies?
Many people successfully self-treat using eye rinses, allergy drops and artificial tears to help keep the eyes clear of allergens. However, you want to consult with your eye doctor to confirm it is in fact eye allergies causing your symptoms. As well you want to be certain you are using the right type of eye drops. In some cases you may also want to determine what is causing the allergy as it might be something in your home that can be removed thus ending your suffering.